Dato Dr Grace Kong is a Women Entrepreneur Awards (WEA) Stellar Category Winner for 2018. In 2015, she founded AladdinStreet.sg, an online halalan toyyiban e-marketplace, which also serves to empower SMEs with cross-border capabilities.
“We’re not here only for the dollars and cents, we’re here also because we can give back to society.”
AladdinStreet.com.sg was founded by Dr Grace Kong in July 2015. Constituting a growing team of 20 staff, the company aims to be the world’s largest online halalan toyyiban e-marketplace, and to rank among the world’s top 10 most profitable e-commerce sites.
Armed with the mission to become the most preferred online shopping portal for halal products, AladdinStreet.com.sg provides consumers a range of products and services such as “Food & Beverage”, “Beauty & Health”, “Electronics”, “Home & Living” and “Lifestyle & Sports” offered over its site, and serves to empower SMEs with cross-border capabilities.
With the promise of a seamless shopping experience in addition to personalised customer service for all its online shoppers, AladdinStreet.com.sg — which is also the online marketplace partner of Manchester United for Singapore — is set to give halal products and services a global platform and audience.
No one is a stranger to Taobao, Alibaba or Amazon, businesses that have dramatically altered how the world shops. But there is a new entrant that has set out and carved itself a niche in the e-commerce industry. Calling itself Aladdinstreet.com.sg, it is part of the Aladdin Group and is the world’s first e-marketplace that is focused on premium halal and Syariah-compliant products and services. It has even formed a global partnership with English football club Manchester United to generate brand awareness and engagement projects.
Leading Aladdinstreet.com.sg is its president and co-founder Dato Dr Grace Kong, a visionary who reveals that the potential in the halal market is huge and as yet untapped. But she adds that Aladdinstreet.com.sg is more than just a business — it is also a platform for countless merchants to enable their products and services to reach a global audience, and in the process allows the company to build a team of empowered employees who not only share the company’s vision but also its success.
Was entrepreneurship something you have always aspired to?
I’ve wanted to be in business since I was very young. My dad was a businessman in the manufacturing line. I grew up in his factory and in the company of his suppliers and customers. So as a child, I desired to do something of my own to make my parents proud.
Tell us more about Aladdinstreet.com.sg. How is it unique?
I visited Alibaba headquarters in Hangzhou once and was amazed to see the number of transactions they had in a single day. I thought if we could create something similar for the halal market, there would be a lot of potential. One key differentiating factor is that we serve the niche market and emphasise much on quality and stringent checks. Our clients are by-invitation only. By keeping the platform healthy and maintaining quality, shoppers can purchase with peace of mind.
What’s the most satisfactory part of the business?
It gives me a chance to contribute back to society and help open more doors for local SMEs.
Where do you see Aladdin Group five years down the road?
In order to grow, we have to think out of the box and reach out to the region and beyond. That way, dream connections can come true.
The WEA 2019 is calling for submissions until 31 January 2019. Apply now and read more stories that celebrate the entrepreneurial spirit of women at wea-sg.com!
Article originally published in Women Entrepreneur Awards.